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|Articles - Jan/Feb 2012|
|Thursday, January 19, 2012|
By Robin Doussard
Mirroring robust growth around the state, a burgeoning Latino population in Southern Oregon with growing purchasing power is spurring the growth of Hispanic-owned business in Jackson County.
From 2000 to 2010, the Latino population in Jackson County grew by almost 80% to about 22,000, and the number of Hispanic-owned firms grew from about 350 to 1,000. At the forefront of this is a new, highly motivated and educated group of Latino entrepreneurs like 34-year-old Hector Flores.
“We call ourselves the new breed in the Latino business world,” says Flores. He graduated from Southern Oregon University with a master’s in teaching and then worked in China for seven years. When he returned in 2009, he saw few things targeted to the Hispanic population; a previous Latino publication had dissolved. So he and his brother, Alfredo, founded Revista Caminos in 2009, a monthly Spanish-language magazine full of local, positive stories about the Hispanic community. “We immediately had enough advertising to pay for the initial costs,” says Flores, who is the editor. The magazine now has a print run of 5,000, and Flores says he is being asked to expand into Redding and Klamath Falls.
“Everyone is filling a niche,” says Flores of this new breed of Latino entrepreneur. “It’s collaborative and people are building networks of people. We’ve reached out to other Hispanic publications statewide to collaborate.” A Latino publication in Eugene was struggling, so the Flores brothers helped out; and they want to form a media alliance of other Hispanic publications in Oregon.
“It’s amazing what’s going on,” says Jessica Gomez, who founded with her husband in 2003 Rogue Valley Microdevices, a thriving business that employs 13. “What Hector is doing with Caminos is great. They are all about bringing the Hispanic community together.”
Flores estimates there are 50 Hispanic-owned businesses in Medford alone, and at least 100 in the greater Rogue Valley area. “From furniture shops to bakeries to nonprofits,” he says. “There is a huge push by Latino entrepreneurs.”
“When you have a recession like we’ve had, it forces people to be creative,” observes Gomez. “You have people who are now unemployed who are asking: What do we do? How do we survive? I think that’s a driving factor in economic development locally.”
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE
The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE
Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.
Friday, October 24, 2014
How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!
Friday, October 31, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland? The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented. But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.
Thursday, December 04, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace.
Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.
This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay.
Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.
New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”
That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!
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